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Thread: Down side to Linotype for small game ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Down side to Linotype for small game ?

    Are there any ? Linotype seems to be the ticket to getting the accuracy and consistency I want in a few casting projects and really the only application they would have out side of plinking and popping cans would be for small game inside of 75-100 max but more like 30yd average. I head shoot almost all my small game if I'm shooting with a rifle ( well at least game I'm playing on eathing. Crows get boiler roomed lol) so expansion doesn't seem like it would be any problem really. I know it can shatter being how brittle it is so it's not good if you wan mushrooming .Only thing I can really see being a problem would be over penetration if I'm dealing with shooting upward out of a hornet . Could there be a possibility for a ricochet however with how hard of a alloy it is though ? Like I've never had soft lead .22lr do it but with some of the harder copper plated stuff I have had some "pwwwwwnnnngggss" in the woods shooting tree rats. Even had a bit come back and hit me though my shirt and get in the skin a little on time. Really closet shot but still makes me wonder about lino .
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I used to shoot linotype exclusively - mainly because it was easy to cast and I got good accuracy in the loads I was using. A .30 cal hole is still .30, and a through shot lets the red stuff leak out two sides. I would not hesitate to use whatever alloy gave me the best accuracy in whatever I was shooting. Confidence in bullet placement counts for a lot when dispatching game.

  3. #3
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    Being cheap, I would regret shooting up the tin when it wasn't necessary.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The antimony content is about 2x what it should be, to prevent brittleness. If you mix it 1 part linotype to 1 part pure lead, you'll end up with 92% lead, 6% antimony (maximum to not make brittle bullets), and 2% tin. THIS makes a really nice alloy for most applications, though some people like to add a bit of tin.

    Of the rounds that ricocheted and hit you, were they in one piece? Or were they fragmented? If they were fragments, it suggests that your projectiles are shattering on impact, from too much antimony in the alloy. What this is doing in the squirrels you hit with it may be problematic, OR it may enhance their effect. Only you can decide.

    If you like the accuracy and performance you are getting, then I'm not one to try convincing you to change it. As one person pointed out, you're shooting away a lot of valuable tin and antimony that could likely be used to make a better-performing and less expensive bullet alloy.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    there is quite a bit of exposed rock in the mountain behind my house and I get ricochets all the time in everything from those 710fps 22 cci quiets to 150 grain 30-06 at 3000fps. but its about as thick a first as forest can be. I think my dog really enjoys the twanging sound of a good glancing ricochet

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Lino makes pretty bullets but 2% Sb works for all but HV rifle. Whole lot cheaper.
    Whatever!

  7. #7
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    As mentioned, the problem with straight linotype is it is antimony rich. A better alloy is Lyman #2.

    Use 4 lbs of linotype, 5 1/2 lbs of lead and 1/2 lb of tin to make 10 lbs of #2 alloy. That will give you close to an alloy of 95/5/5. Casting with alloy at 710 - 725 degrees and WQing quickly right out of the mould as soon as the sprue hardens will give the bullets a BHN of 22 - 24.

    Such alloyed bullets can be extremely accurate and with a flat meplat can be very deadly on small game.
    Larry Gibson

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Being cheap, I would regret shooting up the tin when it wasn't necessary.
    What waksupi said. It is yours and you should use it any way you want to, but I would mix it with softer lead.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  9. #9
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    Linotype has always been famous for filling out the molds, sharp corners, hard boolits. Great target boolits. O.K. hunting boolits, if relying on accuracy, and not expansion, to do the job. What's it matter, really? Dead is dead. Sure, alloys from linotype down to dead soft are interesting and useful for different guns and purposes, but the bottom line is that you cast and shoot what you've got. If I was relying on what I shot to eat regularly, I wouldn't skip a shot because my alloy was not optimal! If that squirrel's head gets in the way of a flying chunk of linotype he'll find himself in the pot.

    DG

    Notes (in the interest of full disclosure).
    1. I'm not a squirrel's head degree of accuracy shooter anymore. Used to be I was...
    2. I don't eat squirrel. Used to be that I did...

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't worry about alloy hardly at all for small game. Ricochet are no more a concern than any other alloy. I body shoot most of my squirrels and rabbits, mostly with shotguns, but also with the pellet gun. You will be fine with head shots.

  11. #11
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    When I was a kid growing up. My Dad shot nothing but Lino in Auto-Loading Handguns and any kind of Rifle. Of course in those days, I think Lino was about .10 cents a pound.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Linotype has always been famous for filling out the molds, sharp corners, hard boolits. Great target boolits. O.K. hunting boolits, if relying on accuracy, and not expansion, to do the job. What's it matter, really? Dead is dead. Sure, alloys from linotype down to dead soft are interesting and useful for different guns and purposes, but the bottom line is that you cast and shoot what you've got. If I was relying on what I shot to eat regularly, I wouldn't skip a shot because my alloy was not optimal! If that squirrel's head gets in the way of a flying chunk of linotype he'll find himself in the pot.

    DG

    Notes (in the interest of full disclosure).
    1. I'm not a squirrel's head degree of accuracy shooter anymore. Used to be I was...
    2. I don't eat squirrel. Used to be that I did...
    Nothin' wrong with squirrel provided you don't eat the brain. Ever watch a chicken and their habits? Oy!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master facetious's Avatar
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    For something as small as a hornet I think I would give the lineo a try strait and see how it works. If nothing else just to see how nice it is to cast with.

    I did my apprenticeship to work on large newspaper presses just as thy were stopping the use of lead plates and was able to get some of the old stereotype lead. At the time it was easier to get than WW's. I was just starting to learn to reload and cast and used it straight for a couple of years in a .357. I later mixed it 50/50 with WW's and then went to a 1 lb 5 oz ingot of stereotype in a 10 lb pot with WW's. which worked good in my .357 and still use ,plus it casts nice.

    For .22 cal I think I would start with a test batch of 50/50 with some WW's and some with straight type metal . I've never tried it but have heard that .22 cal need a stronger alloy and type metals were made to be strong to handle impact. I question if a hornet could push it hard enough to shatter on anything softer than a rock.

    On the other hand in my .308 that WW with a ingot of stereotype and 1% tin , I have never found a boolit in a dirt backstop but in my .357 thy almost look like you could use them again. The .308 load is going in the upper teens so there might be a good chance that thy are shattering . If thy did shatter for you how much difference would it make. I would think that on small game thy would just zipp right through regardless of the alloy. Backstops don't care if thy breaks up or not.
    Last edited by facetious; 06-30-2022 at 06:40 PM.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master MarkP's Avatar
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    I have made Lyman 225107 (37 gr FN & HP) (NOE 3 Cav and NOE 1 Cav HP) from straight Lino great fill out, these are tiny little pills so not worried too much about the consumption of my lino supply. All shot from 22 Hornet and 221 Fireball. From 750 fps to 2,800 fps. The HP's just explode like a thin jacketed varmint bullet does and not a good choice for squirrels but maybe for crows.

    Only thing I do not like about these is since they are so small and having big fingers they are cumbersome for me to put gas checks on and size.

  15. #15
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    At that range, I'd go with as soft an alloy as I could for the speed required to be accurate and still get good fill out.

    If you're putting a good hit on it--- expansion/fragmentation or not, it won't matter to the squirrel.
    Just be sure it's clear down range for several hundred yards,
    or a pass through ends up in a tree or in the ground, and you're good.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    As mentioned, the problem with straight linotype is it is antimony rich. A better alloy is Lyman #2.

    Use 4 lbs of linotype, 5 1/2 lbs of lead and 1/2 lb of tin to make 10 lbs of #2 alloy. That will give you close to an alloy of 95/5/5. Casting with alloy at 710 - 725 degrees and WQing quickly right out of the mould as soon as the sprue hardens will give the bullets a BHN of 22 - 24.

    Such alloyed bullets can be extremely accurate and with a flat meplat can be very deadly on small game.
    95/5/5?
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I’m sitting on about 100lbs of Linotype. When it’s gone, it’s GONE!
    I use it sparingly.

    I’d use any scrap you have and use the Linotype to bring it up to necessary hardness.
    I’ve used my .22Hornet with w/w with the Lyman .225” 49.5gr semi pointed flat nose over 1.7gr of Bullseye to shoot squirrels. Works better than .22lr hollow points.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    I stocked up on 22lr over the years and haven't bought any more in a long time. At the rate I'm going I'll have to live to be 100 to run out.

  19. #19
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    I read in the above about hornets. If you have any amount of ww add some to your lino, 2/3 ww, 1/3 lino should be ideal. PC it and water drop straight from the pc oven. At minimum cut to 50/50 with pure or try 1/3 lino, 2/3 pb. I am not sure if your lino is new or old, it looses tin. I am not sure if it has enough arsenic to harden if water dropped. I am getting good groups with 9.5 gr H 110 and a 225438 rn with no signs of leading. My alloy is much more malleable than lino alloys but you should be close.
    Soft lead can ricochet. Hard lead can vaporize. We need to understand that if we ever fire cast away from a range. It isn't a deal breaker, but we had better understand it.
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  20. #20
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    Adding WWs to linotype, while seeming to make a better alloy really does not. Linotype is already antimony rich and tin poor. COWWs are antimony middle class and tin homeless.....

    Adding more antimony to linotype only exacerbates the overabundance of antimony and worsens the tin %. What is needed is a balance of antimony to tin not to exceed 5% of each in the alloy. That creates the submetal SBSN and at that or less % will stay in solution in the lead. A 90/5/5 lead/antimony/tin alloy is called Lyman #2 alloy. It is superior to linotype in cast bullets.

    Furthermore, both linotype and COWWs are becoming more and more expensive and hard to find. Adding lead and tin to the linotype will not only give superior bullets but will double the number of bullets that can be cast with a given amount of linotype. Same with COWWs. just add 2% tin to them and you will get a ternary alloy (95/2.5/2.5) that is excellent for probably 95% of cast bullets used, especially with bullets used in rifles and almost all cast bullets used in handguns.

    IMHO, mixing COWWs with linotype is a waste of both.
    Larry Gibson

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check